About five years ago Nosara reached a tipping point regarding our main road (aka “The 160”). The area had grown, and the increased traffic made the dust in the dry season and the potholes in the rain season insufferable. Even the longtime naysayers of blacktop could not deny that it was time for pavement for health, safety, and sanity issues. Well, I believe Nosara has reached another tipping point with the unprecedented growth in recent years, accelerated by the boom we’ve seen since the airports opened anew in November 2020 during the pandemic. What can we do to preserve the community and small town feeling that we have sacrificed so much to be apart of? The answers lay within each of us.

Many of society’s problems/challenges cannot and will not be solved by governments nor NGO’s. I learned this lesson from my wife whose life’s mission is environment education. You (not your spouse, neighbor or favorite youtube influencer) must take responsibility and action. Before I state some action items, I’ll reflect on some things that make Nosara cool. Here are just a handful of examples:

  • A community that cares and gets involved (here’s a partial list of local doers: https://www.friendsofnosara.org/our-partners)
  • Locals who acknowledge and wave to each other when passing by (Oprah says we ALL want to be validated!). A friendly greeting can have more impact that one imagines.
  • We care about our environment and protect nature and our beaches.
  • We don’t take ourselves too seriously or put on airs when we go out.
  • The community is accepting of people from all over the world while respecting local culture.
  • We love dogs… a lot.
  • Full-time residents come together in rainy season. We look out for one another as we prepare to share our summer months with visitors.
  • You don’t see clear cutting as trees and arboreal monkey paths are sacred.
  • We do yoga… a lot.
  • Most everyone is laid back and embraces the surfing culture because we surf…. a lot.

Unfortunately, we humans tend to bring our baggage with us even when we move thousands of miles from home. So be self-aware and remember why you chose Nosara and help preserver her so we can all enjoy one of the most unique, Bohemian, family friendly, tropical beach destinations (with high-speed internet and an international school) on the planet.

Above all… be kind. Smile at people. The most valuable lesson the Costa Rica culture has taught me is happiness. I’ve never experienced people so in love with life, family, and an ability to laugh as do the Ticos whether they are “haves” or “have nots”. Give rides to those you see walking. A waiter, cashier, maid, or construction worker has as much value in this world as the rich and famous. Why not make them feel so? Nosara is a place where we respect ourselves and hope each of us contributes to the community through our jobs, talents, and interests. Because we are a small town, your contributions and kindnesses can make a noticeable and immediate impact.

Help each other out. We’ve all had flat tires, been stuck in the mud, needed help translating, or have just had an awful day. Let’s look out for each other. If you see someone who doesn’t appear to be a strong swimmer, who is headed in the water while the surf is larger… say something! This isn’t California where a lifeguards stand perched and ready. You could be saving a life.

Be conscientious of your footprint. Make sure your home has the best septic system available, so your poop doesn’t end up in our water supply or beach! Make sure your rain drainage isn’t causing unnecessary erosion or flooding a neighbor’s property downstream. Your trash should be enclosed so animals don’t spread it around the jungle. Always recycle, compost and do not throw your organic waste in the jungle. When landscaping use plants that are native so they will not need constant watering in the dry season when our water supply is most fragile.

Get involved. Whether it be with time or money, please help support the non-profits, foundations and volunteers who have made this a great community. We cannot expect others to do everything for us. We cannot expect the local government to do, well…. anything. Nosara will be better off if you participate.

There are countless ways we can keep Nosara cool and hopefully you’ve been inspired to think of ways that I haven’t listed. When communities grow, they tend to get cold and faceless. I hope this doesn’t happen here. I pray that my children can experience aspects of the Nosara I fell in love with and grow up in a community that values values. After all… it takes a village to raise a child and we’ve chosen this village.